Lots of Storytelling Going on at the PSREC Call Center

Because now apparently PSREC (our electric company who rudely shut us off one month ago for refusing to pay illegal, discriminatory, and unjustifiable “opt out” fees) has discovered that it cannot extort, coerce, silence, or intimidate us, they are now directing their call center staff to openly discuss our personal account and tell lies to the many people who have been calling them to protest our disconnect.

Like most corporations facing a crisis, they’re apparently attempting to “war game” the situation by trying to erode our credibility.  But it’s not going to work.    You can have your own opinion, but the facts are the facts and PSREC needs to stop lying to people.

This is the e-mail I received last night from one of our supporters (with our responses below in bold):

Hi Josh,
 
Your utility company called me today and stated the following:
 
– They say that you haven’t paid your November bill.

This is not true.  We have paid our November bill.  There was a mix up where the accumulating (illegal) opt out charges were combined with the past due November amount and we thought it was all opt out charges and neglected to pay this until it was brought to our attention.  Though we were speaking to them regularly they never mentioned that they hadn’t received November’s payment, and when they did inform us, they admitted they realized this was an oversight.   As soon as they brought this to our attention we paid the bill (minus the opt out charge of course).

Furthermore, isn’t it against company policy to discuss a member’s account with persons not listed on the account???

– You are in debt to them by a substantial sum of money regarding power used.  They refused to disclose how much you owe them and for what services rendered that you owe them.

We have paid for our electricity usage in full.  If PSREC has its way, over the course of ten years they would charge us more than $1941 as an opt out charge ($141.60 for the analog meter and $15/ month) but we never agreed (and do not agree) to service under those terms.

– You have fenced your property and will not let anyone onto the property to service or read the utility meter.

Bob Marshall: “I disagree with everything you said!”

Again, a lie.  Until PSREC’s General Manager Bob Marshall threatened to forcibly install a smart meter on our home in February (even though he has in his possession a letter from my physician saying this device is harmful to my health- a threat of assault, essentially) we had not locked up our fence and the meter reader was free to come and go as he pleased.    After we received Mr. Marshall’s threats, we secured our fence, which did not in any way ever interfere with meter reading or maintenance.  We informed PSREC that they would be free to access their meter for these purposes.  We have never locked up our analog meter.

– You have caged the utility meter and will not let anyone into it to service the utility meter.

Again, absolutely a bald faced lie.  Even though we probably should have done so, we have never locked up our analog meter or prevented access for bona fide utility needs. 

– They say they have given you a number of payment options and only disconnected you after trying to work this out with you.

Here are the “payment options” they offered us: 

1)  Pay us our extortion charge and we will allow you to follow the orders of your doctor and protect your family’s health.

2)  We shut off your electricity during winter in the mountains.

I queried them about the caged meter and she admitted that she has not seen it.  It appeared to be the PR lady who called me.  She was trying to make out that you had gas and wood burning appliances, so that it wasn’t a hardship for you. 

Right- cutting the electricity to an all-electric house in the mountains in winter is not creating a hardship!  Nice stories they tell themselves.  The reality is that we are lucky to have a wood burning stove but not all residents here have one.   The “gas appliance” we are using is a camping stove out back.   We have no running hot water, no refrigeration, no lights, no stove or oven, and no heat except where the woodstove can reach (and without our ceiling fan this is drastically reduced).   How dare they assume things about us and discuss these “assumptions” on the phone with people who call on our behalf?

Their engineer who has seen the cages is supposed to be calling me to discuss what you have done on the property.

Ummm….. we locked our garden gate.  This “engineer who has seen the cages” is lying, and most likely the same man who came here and photographed our property with a telephoto lens from a number of different angles the day after our power was cut.

Anyhow, now wanted to get your feedback before I call them again.  They are painting you as the problem to callers, which is quite standard practice in the utility industry.

You don’t say?

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One Response to Lots of Storytelling Going on at the PSREC Call Center

  1. Terri Keller says:

    Just called and talked with Susie. She sounded weary of all the calls she’s probably been getting, but probably not as hassled as Josh is being without power for over a month.

    I was polite, told her that he should have his power turned back on immediately, and that he should not be charged to have a safe meter, as Josh never agreed to that.

    She politely said she would pass the message along, and asked my name. I told her, and said I have a website, stopsmartmetersGeorgia.Org. I thought she perked up a little when she heard it, in that, there was an impression (that she gets throughout the day, no doubt) that this subject must be more important than she’d previously thought, bless her heart!

    This is what the calls are for, and I encourage everyone to work through the nervousness about calling – I was nervous, at least – and just take a minute or two to call General Mgr. Bob Marshall’s direct line, (800) 555-2207 ext. 6076, and let them know what you think. Thank you!

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